Can the Catlin Arctic Survey Team Cover 683 km in the Next 21 Days?

Guest post by Steven Goddard

catlin_arctic-survey_progress_map_041009-520
Click for a larger map – ice extent overlay provided by Catlin KML file, annotated map by Anthony Watts from data provided by the Catlin Arctic Survey

According to the people who rescued Pen Hadow from his earlier polar near-misadventure in 2003, the latest safe date for recovering people from the North Pole is April 30.  The team is currently 683 km away from the pole, which means that they would need to cover 32km per day – an increase of 5X over their average rate so far.  That might prove difficult with an exhausted, hypothermic, frostbitten team walking over broken ice and dragging heavy equipment at -34C.

May 28, 2003
Steve Penikett, of Kenn Borek Air, based in Calgary, which completed the mission, said: “I wish it hadn’t taken place at this time of the year. This is the latest we have ever done a pick-up. Landing on the North Pole at this time of the year is not the brightest thing people can do because of the weather and ice conditions.

“People are at risk – the ice breaks and it shouldn’t really happen. No one should expect to be picked up from there later than 30 April … Going to the Pole this time of the year is a bit stupid and you put a lot of people’s lives at risk. If you are going to put yourself into a spot like this … it really does need to be thought through.”

h/t to Pkatt for finding this information. More from Anthony and The Times:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1136134.ece

May 26, 2003
Polar Pen waits for new airlift as temperature falls

THE temperature at the North Pole has plummeted to minus 25C as the explorer Pen Hadow ekes out his meagre food rations waiting for clouds to clear so he can be airlifted back to civilisation.

After one attempt to pick him up failed, a new plan has been hatched to improve the chances of a successful recovery by aircraft in worsening Arctic weather conditions. Visibility has diminished so far at Hadow’s base camp at Eureka in Canada that pilots could not take off to fly to the pole even if it were safe to land.

As of today, the Catlin web site is showing

Total distance travelled 241.13 km
Average daily distance 5.88 km
Estimated distance to North Pole 683.39 km
Time on ICE 41 days

This is interesting because they also say :

As we approach the half way point of the expedition, the Ice Team are currently just 10 miles below the 85°N line of latitude. During the time Pen, Ann and Martin have been on expedition, the ice has been particularly dynamic, with refrozen leads and huge pressure ridges experienced on a daily basis. The team have managed to navigate their way around open water, and so far have not had to don their immersion suits and swim.

In this next stage of the expedition, we are starting to see the temperature rise from its recent -35C to -45C, thereby allowing the team to focus on something other than sheer survival. However, from satellite pictures we receive in the Ops Room, we can see that once the team cross the 85th degree of latitude, the condition of the ice deteriorates rapidly. Large fissures of open water running east to west for several hundred miles currently scar the ice imagery. So, whilst on the one hand the weather conditions should start to improve, on the other hand the team will now face the new challenge of navigating stretches of open water. So, it is with immersion suits and flotation devices ready that the next phase of the expedition begins.

They are only a little more than 1/4th of the way to the North Pole.  Does this imply that they are not planning on completing their North Pole trek?

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140 thoughts on “Can the Catlin Arctic Survey Team Cover 683 km in the Next 21 Days?

  1. “However, from satellite pictures we receive in the Ops Room, we can see that once the team cross the 85th degree of latitude, the condition of the ice deteriorates rapidly. Large fissures of open water running east to west for several hundred miles currently scar the ice imagery.”

    Is this true?

  2. Well they may not have made it…except now with the temperatures rising from a frigid -35 too a balmy -45 im sure they waltz in, with time for bbq’s and swims on the way. :-)

    Ive had frost bite once, just on the tips of a couple o toes(do a bit o ice climbing)….it REALLY hurts!!!!!!! On the basis theyre still going, they have my respect. I would have thought stuff this and gone home after the first week.

    It does seem kinda pointless when none of their equipment is working.

  3. “Does this imply that they are not planning on completing their North Pole trek?” They never were. Their plan is to have the expedition brought to a halt by perilously-thin ice and insurmountable open water.

  4. Latest reported position: 83°51’49″N 128° 58’ 30” W

    Another 10 miles and they’re 1/4 of the way there after 41 days. Then the fissures open up. This sounds interesting. But then, it was meant to.

    $4.3 million for the episode, 103 boreholes, radar not working. So far, it’s cost $41,747.57 per borehole. I think the revised goal should be to get it down to $30,000 per borehole and call it quits. Science will be forever grateful.

  5. On this next stage of the expedition, we are starting to see the temperature rise from its recent -35C to -45C, thereby allowing the team to focus on something other than sheer survival.

    I had to read this sentence twice before I got the correct nuance.

    For some reason, sheer survival will be occupying their minds for quite some time. Ice that starts to thin and break up will be even more dangerous than ever before.

  6. Given the harsh environmental conditions and Hadow’s weak constitution, who shows a permanent hypothermia, I think the story could have a quick ending. Otherwise, he would be giving his life for a void cause.

    On the other hand, we have a woman, Ann, who has shown an accelerated heartbeat rate and an extreme breath rate, which could mean that she is forcing her body to incapacitating work that could lead her to the loss of important normal functions which would make her unable for keeping moving. I will not mention other functions that she could gradually be losing by respect to her privacy; however, motor abilities are vital for surviving in that environment.

    Martin seems to have hypoventilation problems, that is, his heart works at a rate which is at odds with his respiratory frequency. This condition could cause syncope since his brain would not receive the required amounts of oxygen. It could be that Martin is breathing at his pace, i.e. an inhalation per step, which would not be a problem if he maintains the cadence. Nevertheless, Martin seems to be defying nature and it’s not a wise behavior.

    If those biotelemetry reports are true, I think they will be at their homes by April last week.

  7. The 3 IceKateers will drag on, putting themselves into an icy corner.
    They are expendable, as the Ins. co. says they knew the risks.
    Helicopter won’t land.
    Maybe the US Navy will rescue them in a Nuclear Sub.
    Provided they don’t fall in somewhere between now & rescue, doing something clouded minds see as perfectly fine.
    3 Martyrs for AGW.

  8. MikeE (18:45:36):

    Well they may not have made it…except now with the temperatures rising from a frigid -35 too a balmy -45 im sure they waltz in, with time for bbq’s and swims on the way.

    Perhaps you should have meant the opposite way: rising from a frigid -45 to a balmy -35…

  9. Nasif Nahle (19:22:11) :

    Nope, just a lil pedantic sarcasm, at the way they structured that sentence.

    Obviously 30km a day is fairly good going in rough terrain in a favorable climate, Id say its an impossibility in the arctic.

  10. I’ll predict they discover an error on the location of the pole and the “correction” will mysteriosly relocate it within easy reach.

    Over at RC they’ll explain that corrections in science are made all the time.

    I feel like thanking them ahead of time.

  11. Maybe a contest is in order, guess the end date to this farce. My guess is April 22nd, Earth Day. They will claim to have reached an impassable stretch of open water. They will rescue a polar bear and its cubs from near drowning and fly out as modern day eco-heroes.

  12. Well, sorry to double-post this, but according to the Catlin communications director, Rod Macrae, the team worked out a last-possible pickup date from the ice of May 25th with the air carrier prior to the start of the expedition.

    Other pieces of information from Mr. Macrae are in my post here:

    http://talkingabouttheweather.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/205/

    So, according to the team itself there are just over six weeks remaining.

    Just for the record, I asked Mr. Macrae if he was aware that 2007 was the year of maximum Antarctic sea ice. He said he didn’t know anything about that, and I believed him!

  13. Margo’s Maid (18:24:15):

    I do prefer the Lotería Nacional. I’m not interested on proselytizing in favor of any natural change. It’s not a matter of beliefs and faith as if it was a religion, but on the observation of real phenomena. Whether the wooden platform on the Tenana River in Alaska breaks down or not, it would be normal and would have nothing to do with human activities, but with natural cycles. The same applies to the probable melting of the North Pole. Earth is not static and changes uninterruptedly, always.

  14. Let me see if I’ve got this right. It was really cold and now not so cold, but still very cold. That’s in contrast to the “torrid” conditions a UK newspaper reported a few weeks ago! They’ll just freeze more slowly.

    For a look at the streaks in the ice, try this site and blow it up about 4X.

  15. O/T Have you noticed the TIME magazine of April 13? Cover and main theme is about vanishing animals caused by climate change. All the highlighted creatures are under threat by poaching, habitat loss directly caused by people, fishing nets, illegal hunting, and so on. The Sumatran Tiger on the cover are few in number but climate isn’t the culprit.
    Polar Bears are mentioned as being impacted by loss of sea ice. Someone forgot to tell TIME that modern rifles, snowmobiles, and air planes put the bears at risk in a manner nature never could. It is my understanding that overall the bear population has been improving since these pressures were reduced.
    Three interesting links:
    The old aerial polar bear hunt in Alaska
    http://benmuse.typepad.com/arctic_economics/2008/08/the-bad-old-days-in-alaska.html
    Despite the nonsense about the missing Arctic ice this one provides relevant background information:
    http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/bear-facts/
    And this one asks “If the polar bear is the 650-kilogram canary in the climate change coal mine, why are its numbers INCREASING?”
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1ea8233f-14da-4a44-b839-b71a9e5df868

  16. “On this next stage of the expedition, we are starting to see the temperature rise from its recent -35C to -45C, thereby allowing the team to focus on something other than sheer survival.”

    Now that’s a sure sign of hypothermia… their brains aren’t working.

  17. I think this says it all, right here (bold text added for emphasis in exposing the truth):

    The inconclusiveness of the Poznan talks last weekend signals once again that our leaders are prepared to drink in the last chance saloon – with last orders being called (Global climate change decisions on hold for Obama, 15 December). There is just a year left for our political leaders to put a post-2012 deal in place at Copenhagen next year, if there is to be any hope of preventing global warming from reaching really dangerous levels. But slow progress seems to signal a deal that will fall short of expectations.

    Scientists have presented a barrage of evidence for global warming and I have seen with my own eyes the irrevocable changes taking place in the Arctic Ocean. Each year more and more of the fragile multi-year sea ice melts and it could be less than a generation before the ice cap disappears completely. The loss of this astonishingly beautiful place will be a tragedy in itself, but a still greater calamity for us all is its unbalancing of the Earth’s whole eco-system.

    Next year, during the critical few months before Copenhagen, I will be leading a scientific expedition to the north pole to assess the status of the ice. Using a specially designed ice-penetrating radar, the Catlin Arctic Survey team will take millions of readings of the thickness of the floating ice over a 1,200-kilometre route. The data will be analysed by the world’s leading scientists from organisations including Nasa.

    I believe I owe it to my children and future generations to carry out this important, if hazardous, survey. Putting our abilities as explorers at the disposal of climate scientists is our team’s small contribution to securing a solution. It is to be hoped world leaders recognise early enough they have a still greater role to play in Copenhagen next year.

    Pen Hadow
    Catlin Arctic Survey

    ———

    It’s amazing what you can find on the internet…

    Now we can read between the lines and see what this survey is really about – gathering ‘doomsday data’ to feed to the policy makers at Copenhagen; but that’s not all.

    The title sponsor of this expedition is an insurance company that plans to use the data in the following way:

    “as a specialty insurance/reinsurance company, the potential effects of global warming will have a direct impact on our business”
    Therefore, Catlin
    “manages risk based on hard facts, so we believe that obtaining this information is vital. The Catlin Arctic Survey will help inform all those who must plan for the potential effects of global warming.”

    -Stephen Catlin, Catlin’s Chief Executive.

    I’m so glad that data gathering is performed by an insurance company that “help(s) inform all those who must plan for the potential effects of global warming”

    Talk about your conflict of interest.

  18. It appears they never heard of the maxim, “Plan for the worst, hope for the best.”

    If they are facing increasing breaks in the ice the further they progress, I would expect the progress to slow. My guess is they’ll be lucky to hit 500km, instead of the 1,000 they’d ‘planned’ on.

    And while the rest of the media will drool over their ‘heroism,’ only here at WUWT can one read of level-headed assessments on the ‘value’ of their foolhardiness.

  19. They better hope for global warming after they get off the ice. Another English summer like the last two, and they won’t get their body temperature back to normal before autumn.

    Speaking of which, The Met Office is a little late on their summer forecast. Last year they made it on April 3. Perhaps they are being a little more cautious after getting burned two years in a row.

  20. Exactly how long does open water stay open at -35C??? Are the satellite images they are using to see these fissures of open water publicly available on the internet?

  21. Bill, try this IR view:

    For a look at the streaks in the ice, try this site and blow it up about 4X.

  22. Someone will have to explain to me how going from -35 to -45 degrees C is a “rise” in temperature. I know I am not good at math, but any way that I figure it logically seems to indicate a drop in temperature.

  23. Robert Bateman (19:21:38) :

    3 Martyrs for AGW.

    Assuming Somali pirates don’t move in, kidnap them & demand $2M each. It’s only a matter of time before “experts” link global warming to the spike in aggression of renegade pirates on the high seas.

    I blame Jack Sparrow, myself.

    Back to the subject, if/when they are rescued, I wonder if the media focus will be on those who selflessly risked their lives to save them rather than this group of “IceKateers” (I like that – kudos) who carelessly decided to embark on this pointless expedition to begin with?

    That was a rhetorical question, of course. We all know the answer.

  24. An average of 32 km a day would be impressive. Norwegian adventurers, who probably are much better skiers, hardly do more than an average of 20 km a day in the Arctic ocean. Adventurers like Rune Gjeldnes and Torry Larsen used 109 days to ski 2100 km across the Arctic ocean.

  25. Bobby Lane,
    Think of it this way: Say it was about 40 below, so you say it is 35 to 45 below. The forecast is for it to warm to about 25 below. So, you are going to see the temperature rise from its recent (35 to 45 below) all the way up to 20 to 30 below. What could be simpler?

  26. Bill Jamison (20:49:55) :

    “Exactly how long does open water stay open at -35C??? Are the satellite images they are using to see these fissures of open water publicly available on the internet?”

    Yes. And wouldn’t that warm (not frozen) water on exposure to -35C air create fog?

  27. Bill Jamison (20:49:55) :
    Exactly how long does open water stay open at -35C??? Are the satellite images they are using to see these fissures of open water publicly available on the internet?

    Even if it ices over a few minutes later it doesn’t make much difference, you wouldn’t be able to walk on iy.

  28. “wattsupwiththat (19:17:42) : Ego is a very dangerous thing when lives are at stake.”

    It seems that ego is carrying Al Gore somewhere stranger and stranger all the time too. It seems (IMO) there’s an internal struggle with him. I’ve seen many comments in other blogs that it looks he’s drinking. I don’t think I believe it. It could guess polypharmacy though. It must be difficult to always keep the awareness that you must exaggerate things at every turn.

    Whatever the case is he doesn’t look healthy. Photo from January 19, 2009 :

  29. Why does the Catlin Project show all this open blue water on their map/picture? The entire arctic is still full of ice and there is no open passage ways. The Cryosphere currently shows a near average ice extent on their graphs. This expedition couldn’t already be biased before the science is in, or could it?

    REPLY: see response above, refresh if needed – Anthony

  30. “Steven Goddard (20:37:49) : Speaking of which, The Met Office…”

    Piers Corbyn has already tried to bet the Met about 2009 :

    “Piers Corbyn… issued his forecast for World temperatures 2009 which directly contradicts the Met office & World Meteorological Organisation’s forecasts and challenges the Met Office to a bet… The Met Office’s recent forecast that the world in 2009 will be in the warmest 5 on record will fail… instead 2009 is likely to be similar to or colder than 2008. All their recent climate forecasts have failed and this one will too. ”

    ref :

    http://www.weatheraction.com/id10.html

  31. Why do I keep getting this vision of these characters getting themselves in situation where the ice is too thin for walking and too thick for their immersion suits?

    Is this plausible?

  32. Richard,
    If you want a different map, try this

    http://nsidc.org/data/virtual_globes/

    Click on the second one “September sea ice extent, 1979-2008”

    Open the link – Google Earth will load
    Move cursor on to map – there is a slider at the top
    watch all or pick one
    small triangles increments
    large triangle on right plays sequence

  33. Great photo of the north polar region. The current(s) in the Arctic Ocean must be quite dynamic in order to produce such openings in the ice.

    Having said that, I expect that the Catlin trek will continue regardless. I expect that there might be contractual requirements for the team to reach the pole.

  34. Has someone noted Warwick Vincent’s name somewhere (director of the Center for Northern Studies at Laval University in Quebec) for his assertion that Arctic ice would likely be gone by 2013? We should be taking names, you know. If only so that we can publicly accuse these people when the date comes and goes. I haven’t forgotten my favourite figure of fun, Prince Charles, for his laughably-stupid “100 months to save the world”. He will be getting a letter in less than eight years time – and it’s going to be a good one with nothing held back! We should be drawing up a list of names and noting what they said. Perhaps the construction of a website? Hell, I’ll do it if people would like to give me lists of names and what they said – I have available space on my website.

  35. I think they mean 10 miles south of the 84 degree N line of latitude .. right ? Not 85 !

    Clearly either minds being addled by cold or wishful thinking ……..

  36. When it is all over it is the “spin” they put on it that will intrigue us.
    Or will they pretend it never happened?

    That’s how sad and pathetic this whole AGW argument is….I should be calling it a debate but there has never been one.
    The fact that ITN in the UK and The Washington Post are still saying the Arctic is warming when we know it is cooling and looks as if it has been doing for around four years sums up the whole situation.
    It is the media who can resolve this by swallowing their pride and being professional.
    I am not expecting it to happen anytime soon, however they are not fooling the public who are increasingly sceptical.

    I applaud this site and all the scientific contributors as you are offering a service like no other.
    Last week I had my cousin’s wife to dinner with her friend who was a former head mistress and science teacher.
    She was so thrilled to see scientific debate without political and media interference.

    Keep it up Anthony.

  37. There is a kind of inevitability about this expedition. It seems that when they are finally rescued, by people who will risk their own necks to do so, the blaze of rescue publicity will be all about the thin ice that the Otter has to land on, thus proving their initial hypothesis.

    I am beginning to despair that our society has finally gone irretrievably mad.

  38. I keep asking myself if Catlin was designed to fail? The AGW zealots will always be able to treat failure to reach the pole as “success”. They will just say the ice was too thin – which is all they ever set out to ‘prove’…

  39. “Can the Catlin Arctic Survey Team Cover 683 km in the Next 21 Days?”

    I don’t think they can even do basic math.

    “As we approach the half way point of the expedition, the Ice Team are currently just 10 miles below the 85°N line of latitude.”

    Total distance shown travelled as of today is 241.13 km, with distance to North Pole remaining at 683.39 km.
    Using either “a thousand kilometres” claimed route or using the result of adding the two figures above isn’t nearly “halfway”, rather around a quarter of the way.
    But perhaps “approaching halfway” to the author is like being almost halfway to the moon when one stands on the couch.

  40. I sent the following email to Catlin.
    Someone please advise me if I have made an error.
    “I think there may be a mistake in your latest info.
    You say that the team are just 10 miles below the 85 degree
    latitude; yet you give their latest position as 83 degrees
    51 49.(let`s say 52 minutes).
    1 degree of latitude = 60 nms therefore they should be 68
    nms from the 85 degree latitude.”

  41. “Ego is a very dangerous thing when lives are at stake.”

    Come on. This is Evel Knievel jumping over the Snake River. The whole thing has been planned to fail from the start. Mission abandoned due to “unprecedented” perilously thin ice and open water.

  42. wattsupwiththat (19:17:42) :

    Oh, I’m certain they’ll make it, Pen has already stated publicly that “he cannot afford to fail” /sarc

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hnm6QA1av0WvxKQFkkoNH4kZTEqQ

    From the AFP story: “[…] Hadow is the only person to have trekked solo and unsupported from Canada to the North Pole, […] ”

    Well, if you state enough conditions you can always be the first or only one to do something. He is for sure not the only person to trek “solo and unsupported” to the North Pole.

    Norwegian Børge Ousland started from Cape Arktichesky in Northern Siberia 2. March 1994 and arrived at the North Pole 52 days later, 22. April.
    http://www.ousland.no/about.html

    Of course, this does not really compare to Amundsen or Nansen 100 years ago, but the point is that the impression that Hadow is somehow unique or first, is incorrect.

    Reply: Here is the correct about link ~ charles the moderator

  43. AEGeneral (21:31:15) :
    Assuming Somali pirates don’t move in, kidnap them & demand $2M each. It’s only a matter of time before “experts” link global warming to the spike in aggression of renegade pirates on the high seas.

    Global average temperature vs. number of pirates

  44. Steven Goddard (20:37:49) :

    They better hope for global warming after they get off the ice. Another English summer like the last two, and they won’t get their body temperature back to normal before autumn.

    That’s why they are in a hurry. The agenda can’t wait another 2 years, else it will be blown by the cold hard facts of increasing worldwide cold. Not even greedy politicians would be able to laud it with a straight face.
    They bought themselves a brief respite by blaming record cold on erratic climate caused by AGW. This survey is just another circus act to distract attention.
    What they really want to do is to blow up a bunch of volcanoes and load the atmosphere with sunblocking chemicals to cover thier tracks.
    So what if 2-3 billion people die.
    They get to rule the world they saved.

  45. “”Steven Goddard (20:37:49) :

    They better hope for global warming after they get off the ice. Another English summer like the last two, and they won’t get their body temperature back to normal before autumn.””

    What makes you think that they will be in England this summer?
    Why not ignore the advice from WWF and take a low budget flight to Spain?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/2625521/Ryanair-boss-in-row-with-explorer-Pen-Hadow-over-emergency-landing.html

    This guy is a jinx.
    Importantly they all got down safe; good.

    Ther article has a nice little quote from Pen, “It was incredibly cold. ”

    Were in sunny warm Scotland, and it is today a lovely day, we received the long range MET weather prediction for summer 2009.

    Ready?

    It will be average!
    Yes average rain, average temperature, average amount of sun and average average. Lots of average.

    Mind you that will not stop the BBC weather girls saying “temperatures are WELL above average for this time of year”. Sure temperatures get up to 16C/61F.

  46. What we don’t want to happen is for false pride to put the Catlin team in more serious risk.

    The science has failed, the technology clearly cannot withstand the climate or the terrain.

    The trek has failed, they are not covering the necessary distance per day to get to the pole.

    The public exercise to inform has failed because the Catlin team have been found to have misled people over the data that has been collected and also the data that has been published.

    Pen Hadow has a history of taking unnecessary risks, the last that is required is for the team leader to pursue a glorious failure.

    What is required now is an independent and expert assessment of this whole expedition, for all we are getting is a spin operation by the team.

    Can it meet its objectives without putting the team at serious risk?

    If not, when does it end?

  47. It’s like watching a train crash in s_l_o_w m_o_t_i_o_n. I don’t want to look but can’t help myself.

  48. Barry Foster (23:38:10) :

    Here’s a good one:

    Professor Jacqueline McGlade

    http://www.sundayherald.com/news/heraldnews/display.var.2498516.0.0.php

    “THE WORLD is heading for an unparalleled climate catastrophe unless rich and poor nations agree drastic cuts in pollution in just the next few months, the head of the European Environment Agency (EEA) is warning.
    Even if all the current promises to cut greenhouse gas emissions are honoured, the world will still see global temperatures rise by an average of four degrees centigrade by the end of the century, according to Professor Jacqueline McGlade, the EEA executive director.”

  49. “and so far have not had to don their immersion suits and swim. ”

    I keep reading this line from their releases and wonder out loud “are they serious?” They are steadily complaining about -30 and below temps, apparent hypothermia and frostbite, and they (or somebody) is actually going to go in the water to drag equipment across open leads, in immersion suits? Were they planning on getting out of the water after the swim?

    If their circumstances are as perilous as they continue to describe, these are humans with a physiological capacity unlike any who have gone before. Or not…

  50. @Steven Goddard (20:37:49) :

    “[…] Speaking of which, The Met Office is a little late on their summer forecast. Last year they made it on April 3. Perhaps they are being a little more cautious after getting burned two years in a row.”

    I think the Met Office is planning to release the summer forecast in September. They have discovered that this new method of forecasting will improve their accuracy a thousand fold.

  51. “AKD (18:49:09) :

    “Does this imply that they are not planning on completing their North Pole trek?” They never were. Their plan is to have the expedition brought to a halt by perilously-thin ice and insurmountable open water.”

    This is exactly what will happen. Most of us here could write the press release.
    “Due to the dangerous dynamics of ever-thinning ice and open water, shifting relentlessly, conditions made much worse than anticipated by Climate Change, the team had to declare an end to the mission, as the ice had just become far too unstable.”

    “Joe Miner (19:44:04) :

    Maybe a contest is in order, guess the end date to this farce. My guess is April 22nd, Earth Day. They will claim to have reached an impassable stretch of open water. They will rescue a polar bear and its cubs from near drowning and fly out as modern day eco-heroes.”

    Joe, I agree completely. I picked the same day a few weeks ago on one of the previous Catlin threads.

    “Harold Ambler (19:49:15) :

    Well, sorry to double-post this, but according to the Catlin communications director, Rod Macrae, the team worked out a last-possible pickup date from the ice of May 25th with the air carrier prior to the start of the expedition. ”

    Harold, based on the pickup date, it makes sense that the support team is saying they’re approaching the half-way point. And since they’re only approx. 1/4 the way there, the second pool we should start is what’s the total distance they’ll end up covering before cancelling the mission and declaring success.

    “Jeff B. (23:41:41) :

    My father always said: “death takes all the sport out of it.”

    And my favorite, which also seems to fit well here: “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye…”

    JimB

  52. From other similar threads – surely it is obvious that buoys are not measuring depth of ICE with great accuracy. But however it is done it invoves danger to the people doing the measurements.

    Presumably Kenn Borek Air have voluntarily contracted to do rescue/pickup. No one forced them? Has anyone contacted them?

    It seems “some what over the top” for contributors to this blog to continually wish death/loss of limbs on these people who at least are making manual measurements over 200km of ice, which no buoy has managed.

    As I suggested – someone needs to measure the actual depth manually. Perhaps walking to the pole is not the best way

    Tom P (16:35:44) :
    Steven,
    “The 2006C depth graph is clearly broken. Look at the discontinuity around October.”
    That single October point reflects the difficulty of determining the bottom interface during the summer melt when the ice has a very similar temperature to the underlying sea, as I mentioned earlier. There is no reason to question the other data. The current ice thickness is more than 1 m thinner than the corresponding thickness in April 2007.
    But as I have repeatedly said, look at what CRREL have published about their data as a whole in January:
    “The Arctic sea ice cover is in decline. The areal extent of the ice cover has been decreasing for the past few decades at an accelerating rate. Evidence also points to a decrease in sea ice thickness and a reduction in the amount of thicker perennial sea ice. A general global warming trend has made the ice cover more vulnerable to natural fluctuations in atmospheric and oceanic forcing.”
    http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.marine.010908.163805
    Why do you think you are better able to analyse the data than the CRREL Army scientists who actually are running these buoys?

    bill (17:07:09) :
    Hmmm – short-lived buoys, broken measurements, measurements open to individual interpretation.
    It seems to me what is required is a few people to go out onto the ice to take some REAL measurements.
    It would be good if these could be done continuously using radar, but if that fails they could at least take an occasional manual measurement.
    Would of course need to do this every few years!
    Bill

    bill (09:04:01) :

    Lucy Skywalker (00:44:01) :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Passage
    “The first recorded succesful passage was that of João Martins, in 1588, 265 years pryor to the Mac-clure trip, a portuguese explorer en route to the Philipines, both discovering the passage and the Bering Straight.[8]

    OK but:

    Dalton Minimum – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    27 Feb 2009 … The Dalton Minimum was a period of low solar activity, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton, lasting from about 1790 to 1830. …

    and

    http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/scienceques2005/20051128.htm
    What was the “Little Ice Age?”
    The Little Ice Age was a period from 1300 to 1850 A.D. when the Northern Hemisphere experienced colder than normal temperatures.
    Some scientists say that a major volcanic eruption in 1258 A.D. and another in 1600 A.D. helped cool temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. The coldest period of the Little Ice Age is attributed to lower than normal solar energy.
    From 1410 to the 1720s the cooling had a strong effect on some areas. During that time, access to Greenland was largely cut off by ice. At the same time, canals in Holland routinely froze solid, glaciers advanced in the Alps, and sea-ice increased so much that no open water was present in any direction around Iceland in 1695.

    And of course there is the “graph” here which puts the end of the LIA at 1900!!!!

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/17/beryllium-10-and-climate/#more-6286

    SOMETHING DOES NOT ADD UP!

    Does this mean there was no LIA? or that the LIA did not affect the arctic? perhaps a line of volcanoes under the NW passage?

    ———————–

    Of interest:
    http://www.awi.de/en/research/research_divisions/climate_science/sea_ice_physics/subjects/ice_thickness_measurements/

    http://naval.review.cfps.dal.ca/forum/view.php?topic=46

  53. If ice is thinning by temperatures going from the -35 to -45 range up to the
    -25 range it certainly isn’t air temperature that is doing it.

  54. They need to be extracted from the ice immediately, lest
    the new “Stooges” movie will be in jeopardy!
    Woop….Woop….Woop…Neh!

  55. I found the following web site very interesting

    http://www.thepoles.com/news.php?id=18193

    There are a number of teams heading to the North Pole and they are all doing well, possibly not all.

    “Lonnie Dupre, guide, (USA), Max Chaya (Lebanon) and Stuart Smith (USA); Cape Discovery Start

    The guys came across a few small leads. They reported “beautiful weather”, sun, calm winds, and warming temperatures and made use of it to dry their sleeping bags and jackets.

    Day 35, April 7:
    traveled 12.2 miles in 10 hours
    Position: N86°57’54”, W78°51’36”

    “Day 35, April 7:
    traveled 12.2 miles in 10 hours
    Position: N86°57’54”, W78°51’36”

    Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley (UK); 81°30’N, 130°W Start

    The team received their second resupply and enjoyed the fresh bacon sandwiches.”

    The blog links at the foot of the page are interesting.
    These are some people.

  56. The post from “Gentry (20:20:16) :”s

    Is an excellent contribution to this discussion and hits the nail dead on. This whole stunt was pre-planned from the beginning to illustrate what they wanted to see..not what they are actually seeing. Their complaints about the extremely low temperatures are not in line with the sudden appearance of open water! I think they are seeing something akin to mirages in the desert.

    As long as people can make money from propagating the human-driven global warming scare, their will be “global warming”. What is needed is an incentive to re-evaluate the facts as is admirably done by this website. Academics are driven by grants. Their are no grants for dismissal of global warming theory at this time. Why are not the oil companies funding such research I have yet to understand.

    Keep up the great work!

  57. right… in the post above I have to make apparent the typo of using “their” rather than “there”… that kind of mistake drives me nuts (is there an edit function?)

  58. .
    >>As I suggested – someone needs to measure the actual depth manually.
    >>Perhaps walking to the pole is not the best way

    If the thickness of Arctic ice were really the Global problem that these people make out, the US navy could do the measurements in a couple of weeks – from below.

    To surface a sub in the Arctic, the boat needs to measure the thickness of the ice (presumably by sonar, or perhaps radar). If they have this kind of capacity, they could traverse much of the entire Arctic sea in a few weeks and accurately measure the entire damn area.

    .

  59. M White (03:26:38) :
    “For the UK and much of western Europe temperatures are likely to be near average”

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/science/creating/monthsahead/seasonal/2009/summer.html
    Issued 31 March

    I checked a similar seasonal forecast from met.no (Meteorological Institute) here in Norway (known to be rater AGW friendly). http://retro.met.no/sesongvarsler/index.html

    Google and I cooperated in translating it into English: “Seasonal prediction for temperature in the period April 2009 – June 2009 shows temperatures around normal for the entire country. There is a slight tendency to a negative anomaly for the middle parts of Scandinavia, while there is a tendency towards slightly higher temperatures than normal in the North-east Norway. ‘Normal’ as we are comparing with is for the period 1961-1990. This period was somewhat colder than the last few decades have been. This means that the upcoming three-month period is expected to be slightly colder than average for the last few years. It is important to note that the values shown on the map are means over three months. So it says nothing about the values the individual months in the period. For example, a month should be warmer than normal, the next colder, while the third can be normal.”

    I would say this is interesting, as they explain that they expect the coming few months will be “slightly colder than average” and at the same time they stress that the reference period 1961-1990 “was somewhat colder than the last few decades have been”.

  60. Guess this is high season in the Arctic.

    http://thethreepoles.com/blog/?paged=5

    “Lonnie – Team Leader – sent this dispatch:

    Today [5th March] we departed Resolute Bay at about 8:30 EST (Eastern Standard Time) in a turbine DC3 aircraft – a remnant of WWII still commonly in use in remote locations.

    We landed on Eureka at the weather station about 1 hour 40 minutes later to meet a waiting Twin Otter aircraft piloted by one of the finest pilots in the Arctic, Troy of Kenn Borek Air. ”

    Think Kenn Borek Air is quite busy at the moment.

    http://www.borekair.com/index.php?cat=gallery

  61. B Kerr (04:26:21) :

    Shades of Scott and Amundsen. This seems more and more like Sam Branson’s arctic kayak stunt of last year. Well thought out expeditions are making this group look like a Monty Python skit. The only problem is that this group will use the excuse that they were stopped by “thin ice”.

  62. BarryW (05:43:25) :
    “The only problem is that this group will use the excuse that they were stopped by “thin ice”.”

    I take your point the media will say that they were stopped by thin ice caused by run away global warming.

    Yet the other groups that are heading to the North Pole are not being stopped by thin ice, in fact the ice appears to be very good and they are skiing.

    1. John Huston and Tyler Fish (USA)

    2. Lonnie Dupre, guide, (USA), Max Chaya (Lebanon) and Stuart Smith (USA)

    3. Keith Heger (USA) and Sebastian Copeland (France/USA)

    “Day 36 – Mile Wide Lead, 4/6
    Posted by: vnorthpole09 in Untagged on Apr 07, 2009

    Date: April 6, 2009
    Location: N86° 30.177′ W074 57.139′
    Time Traveled: 10 hours
    Distance Traveled: 9.7 nautical miles
    AM Temperature: -22°F
    PM Temperature: -20°F
    sunny all day but hazy, light undefined cloud cover 210 nautical miles to North Pole”

  63. Joe Miner (19:44:04) :
    Maybe a contest is in order, guess the end date to this farce.

    And another contest to guess the name of the inevitable made-for-TV movie starring Valerie Bertinelli as Ann Daniels.

  64. Barry W. In case you missed it a previously posted Monte Python skit showing British humour at it best:

  65. bill:

    “It seems ‘some what over the top’ for contributors to this blog to continually wish death/loss of limbs on these people…”

    Who are all those contributors that ‘continually wish death/loss of limbs?’ [emphasis on “continually.”]

    Or did you just make that up for dramatic effect?

    These people were very unprepared. They have a pre-conceived agenda. Their minds were made up well before they started. They repeatedly engage in fraudulent claims, then make up pathetic excuses when they’re caught. They are no more competent than the Three Stooges hanging wall paper, and many commenters have said they should get out while the getting’s good.

    But continually wishing them death and loss of limbs?? Who is saying that?

    .

    [And we’re still waiting for a credible explanation for why we can not see any condensed breath, when Hadow is outside and speaking to us at minus 40°. Maybe you could tell us why that is.]

  66. Regarding the open water and fissures, are there strong currents/tides in these? I can’t imagine their pace is going to be any quicker with an immersion suit on, much less dragging all the equipment in flotation devices. Can anyone else here picture how this will work on the water? Did they bring their own boat ramp to get all the heavy equipment into and out of the water, or are they just going to walk around until they find a nice beach area to offload? When they say fissures it makes me picture some significant dropoff from the ice to the water. I hope they have a crane in their equipment set which can lift their junk up out of the water.

  67. Thing is they may die before the “thin ice” ego kills-get them out.
    As far as I know,human sacrifice in Europe ended when Christianity
    displaced the druids.Now in the name of the Profit and Gaia?…
    Things we do for publicity sometime bite us in the Arse….

  68. B Kerr (06:02:12) :
    BarryW (05:43:25) :

    Yet the other groups that are heading to the North Pole are not being stopped by thin ice, in fact the ice appears to be very good and they are skiing.

    This group appears to be having similar problems to the Catlin group.

    “We are experimenting drying out different pieces of gear which are icy with condensation.
    Stuart is presently skiing with his parka stretched over his sled and if it dries sufficiently we will try this with our sleeping bags.

    Today we encountered a few more leads, but nothing as big as the other day. On one lead both Stuart and Lonnie stepped through some unconsolidated ice getting one foot wet, but they quickly recovered.”

    “On the wider lead we were able to find ice that covered most of the lead, but not all of it. For the remaining 35 feet or so, we used a combination of dry suit and catamaraning our sleds to get across. This provided quite a bit of excitement, but hopefully we won’t see too many more!”

    “We encountered big pans of ice followed by short bouts with zones of intense rubble, which take a lot of time and energy to overcome.”

    “Despite the unusual conditions, we progressed past several open leads which we had to detour around. These are the first significant open water leads that we have encountered. One lead in particular took almost 2 hours to get around.”

  69. Can we have any hope that the data these people are collecting has not or will not be tweaked by Hansen and the Government?

  70. Speaking as an ‘Evil denier’ one can only hope that the Catlin expedition gets pulled off the ice soon – for their own safety. Watching three people voluntarily(?) freeze to death for an unproveable premise has the air of a freak show.

  71. Sandy (06:33:48) :

    “in a turbine DC3 aircraft”
    A jet Dakota??
    Was it dated April 1st??

    I’m no airplane historian, but I think I understand what you’re saying and what the answer is.

    The DC3 originally came, of course, with piston engines. However, fans of the plane refuse to let them retire and among the many updates are turboprop engines. They weigh so much less that the cargo capacity is significantly increased.

  72. Steven Goddard (05:39:05) :

    M White,

    Thanks for the summer forecast link. It isn’t present in their news release section, probably because there is no meat to it.

    It’s wrapping with no content:

    For the UK and much of western Europe temperatures are likely to be near average.

    At this stage forecast signals are too weak to provide an outlook for summer rainfall.

    An update to the summer forecast will be issued by 11 a.m. on 30 April 2009.

    How much did you pay the Met for that?

    Compare that with the Kotzbach/Gray hurricane forecast (which is also calling for a near normal Atlantic season).

    http://tropical.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/2009/april2009/apr2009.pdf

  73. bill (03:27:02) :

    It seems “some what over the top” for contributors to this blog to continually wish death/loss of limbs on these people who at least are making manual measurements over 200km of ice, which no buoy has managed.

    I receive biometric data, analyze those data according to the present scientific knowledge and emit my conclusions. If they die or no, it’s not of my incumbency; simply, I see that those data are not real, are incongruous and, according to those data, they may already be dead. How would you interpret an internal human body’s temperature of 33 °C (Pen’s core temperature), if the human body dies when its temperature drops down to 35 °C?

  74. Appologies posted on wrong thread:
    bill (06:37:27) :

    ralph ellis (05:29:21) :
    If the thickness of Arctic ice were really the Global problem that these people make out, the US navy could do the measurements in a couple of weeks – from below.

    To surface a sub in the Arctic, the boat needs to measure the thickness of the ice (presumably by sonar, or perhaps radar). If they have this kind of capacity, they could traverse much of the entire Arctic sea in a few weeks and accurately measure the entire damn area

    http://www.damocles-eu.org/research/A_large_pool_of_freshwater_building_up_in_the_Arctic.shtml
    Recent observations of Arctic Ocean outflow in the Fram Strait suggest that freshwater is piling up in the Arctic Ocean. A change in wind direction could release the largest amount of freshwater through Fram Strait ever recorded.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas
    Causes of the Younger Dryas
    The prevailing theory holds that the Younger Dryas was caused by a significant reduction or shutdown of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation in response to a sudden influx of fresh water from Lake Agassiz and deglaciation in North America.[12] The global climate would then have become locked into the new state until freezing removed the fresh water “lid” from the north Atlantic Ocean. This theory does not explain why South America cooled first.

    Why doesn’t the navy publish their thickness records if they have them – I have not seen recent results?
    Bill

  75. Appologies posted on wrong thread
    bill (06:48:32) :

    Jack Green (05:36:56) :
    This is how the Catlin group should have conducted their study.
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/2003Reports.html

    !!!!!!!!hang about!!!!!!!!! from the log

    5/7 – Helo Ops – Twin Otter Hydro at station 5, problems with winch gearbox/motor, but successfully complete station. Repair winch at night.
    5/8 – Helo Ops – Twin Otter Hydro Station 6 – Twin Otter makes afternoon evening flight to deploy fuel cache
    5/9 – Helo departs – Twin Otter CTD -Hydro at Station 1 (North Pole) and Station 2 (60 miles south). Stops at fuel cache coming and going, arrive home at midnight, pack all night.
    5/10- Finish pallet load and fly to Edmonton via Eureka, Resolute, Cambridge Bay, Yellowknife

    So these people have forced the pilots of kenn borek air (and others) to fly where they should not, well into the melt season. Despicable!

    Bill

  76. Apologies posted on wrog thread
    bill (08:04:02) : Your comment is awaiting moderation

    Smokey (06:37:40) :
    Who are all those contributors that ‘continually wish death/loss of limbs?’ [emphasis on “continually.”]

    the comment referred to contributors plural. ie. there are continual references made by many contributors not just one contributor.

    OK here are some of the nasty comments. Cannot be bothered looking for others (one I remember hoped they would loose their legs)
    & some may have been pulled or snipped.

    mojo (07:19:03) :
    Even people who do foolish things do not deserve to die.
    Since when? Ever hear the phrase “Hold my beer and watch THIS!” ?

    Mike Lorrey (00:00:29) :
    While I would like to hope they come off the ice alive and in one piece, frankly given the damage they and their kind are doing for the sake of an agenda, I don’t.

    Jack (04:29:43) :
    Stupid is as stupid does.
    Or in this case, ~snip~ idiots. At least they didn’t force a well prepared guide to die with them.

    Ethan (23:46:43) :
    I hope they don’t give up. Imagine the headlines…People trying to prove the Pole is warming up er freeze to death! Rumours of AGW proved to be codswallop.
    Oh yes ..well worth the cost. Freeze you [snip]s!

    April E. Coggins (21:23:39) :
    I hate the part of myself that looks forward to the demise of stupidity

    philincalifornia (20:16:05) :
    Don’t die Pen. It’s not worth it. If you do, the Guardian, the inbred pseudoscientist Prince, and the BBC will deny and/or cover up that you and your ill-fated expedition ever existed.
    But we won’t, ha ha ha ha

    Robert Wood (15:29:13) :
    These people expected to be warm in the Arctic winter????
    Cold-bloodilly, I say, let them live or die; it’s their choice, I don’t care for these worthless nitwits. They are fools; allow Darwin his due.

    Adolfo Giurfa (11:05:30) :
    If some of these guys dies, I am sure his or her death would be utilized by “The Prophet” himself for his cause.

    Steve in SC (10:33:07) :
    They are idiots pure and simple.
    Perhaps they will reap the benefits of their folly.
    My sympathies are extremely limited.

    Bill

    REPLY: Bill can you maybe learn to make shorter/not dups posts? Quite a bit of recent posting you are doing. – Anthony

  77. “..If the thickness of Arctic ice were really the Global problem that these people make out, the US navy could do the measurements in a couple of weeks – from below..”

    They’re British – they should ask the Royal Navy to do it for them. As you say, it can’t be difficult – it’s a simple navigation exercise for a couple of hunter-killers, perhaps with a specialist sonar device mounted on the conning tower.

    I suspect, however, that a sensible expedition would neither give them the publicity nor the answer that they are looking for…

  78. ” The team have managed to navigate their way around open water, and so far have not had to don their immersion suits and swim.
    However, from satellite pictures we receive in the Ops Room, we can see that once the team cross the 85th degree of latitude, the condition of the ice deteriorates rapidly. Large fissures of open water running east to west for several hundred miles currently scar the ice imagery. So, whilst on the one hand the weather conditions should start to improve, on the other hand the team will now face the new challenge of navigating stretches of open water. So, it is with immersion suits and flotation devices ready that the next phase of the expedition begins. ”

    The preceding post does not seem to be found on the Catlan site any longer. Could it be that they have been notified that the satellite view shows NO broken ice or open water between them and the pole? Someone please correct me here if I am missing something. On April 23, I am presenting a talk on global warming fraud, and I plan to use this quote, along with a blow-up of the 4/9/09 cryosphere satellite photo I am a graduate student and my Professor is a vehement AGW proponent (and very sharp) and I do not want to get my keister shot off in front of my peers. Please comment, and if you have any good ideas for me to add to my presentation, let me know. I am already pointing out the recent rash of “the ice is melting even faster than expected” articles.

    BTW, I told him in class Thursday that the Antarctic ice sheet is increasing in mass, and he responded “You must be reading different stuff than I am.”
    Hopefully, I have read this man correctly, and he will not penalize me academically for challenging his beloved beliefs.

  79. Speaking of polar bears:
    If I’m not mistaken the team is British and the Brits have more or less given up the right to own guns. So I’m just wondering if the team has a plan for the possibility of an encounter with a polar bear with a bad attitude or a good appetite.

  80. Sandy,

    “in a turbine DC3 aircraft”
    A jet Dakota??
    Was it dated April 1st??

    There are actually turbo prop DC3s around, they replace the piston engines, but since the engines are quite a bit longer, they have to add a section to the fuselage to put the GC back where it belongs. It is an FAA approved modification, not done in somebody’s hanger way up in Canada. It increases the payload, range and reliability quite a bit.

  81. On submarines, everyone is encouraged to take the basic diver-training course, and to then expand into as many specialties and get as wide a range of diversified practice as possible.

    As a boat prepares to surface either through the ice or in a lead in the Arctic icepack, all the divers onboard are milling around excitedly, dressed in their diving gear (or skivvies, waiting their turn), reviewing the various exercises, maneuvers and operations they might get a chance to take formal training in, or gain practice with.

    There are a lot of complicated aspects to swimming and diving in the ice. It is by no means obvious that swimming across leads or from floe to floe could be relied upon as a means to help maintain expeditionary progress. In some situations, yes, but in many others, no. Not by ‘swimming’. Even highly ice-experienced Navy SEAL special forces, and even more experienced divers/swimmers based in the Antarctic, are quite restricted & limited in what they can achieve in the way of cross-pack mobility.

    No, what Pen Hadow and the Catlin expedition need to get across inconvenient open water is not some type of special swim-suit, but rather a small inflatable raft. Or, a nifty inflatable skirt that goes around a tub-shell designed toboggan, converting it & all their gear into a small ferry. Even a tiny internal combustion or electric motor & prop would be an enormous asset – quite possibly essential.

    This is what the high-north maritime Natives do, to travel on iffy ice: they just load their gear into a lightweight boat and scoot it across the ice & snow. Come slush or ponds or open leads, they jump in & paddle. Large leads (miles across, often), they fire up the Evinrude.

    Swimming is a poor, slow, inadequate way to make progress … but boating is far faster than walking, far easier than dragging a toboggan, and allows taking more gear/supplies. The Vikings & Natives flipped the boat over and used it for a house.

    My guess will be, the special swim gear that Hadow has used before, and that the Catlin crew have with them, is in fact nothing but a “survival suit”, a version of the bright-orange emergency garb we are all familiar with. Presenting the suit as a means to help attain the goal of the North Pole sounds like glamorizing the need to avoid getting wet wading in slush & surface water – which could be fatal. There are hilarious staged survival-suit swim-competitions, which exploit how clumsy & inefficient these insulated floatation devices are to actually try ‘swimming’ in.

    The Twin Otter servicing the Catlin group on skiis, also comes mounted on floats. If excessive open water becomes a show-stopper for the Survey, that’s certainly not a problem for the Otter. (It’s called the Otter, because it’s amphibious.)

    The ‘criticism’ directed at Pen Hadow by the ‘rescuer’ should be taken with a grain of salt. By all means, when the BBC gives the expeditionary support-company a free world-wide advertising, they will make clear that there are limits to the services that can be delivered, and that activities such as Hadow chooses have real risks.

    But discourage others categorically from emulating Hadow? Flinch at the risks to themselves? Doubtful. People who fly Twin Otters out onto the Arctic Ocean are doing what they love, and their main concern is finding ways to continue doing it. They are professional risk-takers who, like Hadow, made their peace with the downside & risk long ago. These are aviators like the fraternity who service climbers on Mt. McKinley: They don’t want fools creating problems up on the mountain, but they definitely want the industry to continue. And even with the best-prepared climbers and polar trekkers, there will still be the risks … and occasional losses.

    Why aren’t they just dropping supplies to the trekkers? Isn’t that more normal & practical in these circumstances, than landing? Pick-ups, too, can be done without landing. Only to insert or extract people is it really necessary to land, eh?

  82. David S. Yes, we have given up guns – they are for killing after all. What we would do when confronted by a bear (or anything else that needs shooting) is to tell them in the strongest possible terms to go away. If that doesn’t work then we send in a delegation of cross-party members (people of diffferent political groups) to explain why they need to go away. If that doesn’t work then we send in the SAS http://www.eliteukforces.info/special-air-service/ That always seems to work a treat!

  83. Has anyone addressed the issue of how the expedition is selecting their sites for drilling and gathering their data? I couldn’t find anything on their website other than a bit on how they selected / planned their route, but nothing that indicates that they prospectively selected sampling locations, randomly or otherwise. Am I correct to conclude that they are basically eyeballing locations along their pre-planned route, and deciding on the spot whether or not to “drill here, drill now”, or have I missed something? This seems like a critical question since they leave themselves open to accusations of cherry picking sites.

  84. Sandy (06:33:48) : Go to Kenn Borak Air’s site for a photo of a Turbo-DC-3 http://www.borekair.com/index.php?cat=gallery The company has two Turbo-DC-3s; tail ‘numbers’ C-FMKB and C-FQHF may or may not be the right ones.

    Somewhat OT – back in 1969 I sat in the crew -room and watched the “small step for a man and a giant leap for mankind” on TV and then picked up my gear and walked out to a waiting Pratt & Whitney-powered DC-3, a design dating from 1935. Talk about a generation gap!

  85. The natural end result of the AGW-Gaia green religion.

    “The woman’s cardigan hangs from the polar bear’s jaws after the attack”
    …-

    “Pictured: Shocking moment polar bear attacks woman who climbed into zoo enclosure

    This is the terrifying moment a woman was attacked by a polar bear after jumping into its zoo enclosure.

    The 32-year-old leapt over bars at Berlin Zoo during the bears’ feeding time yesterday.

    Despite six zookeepers’ efforts to distract the four predators kept in the enclosure, the woman was bitten several times on her arms and legs.”
    urlm.in/cbwd

  86. bill (08:09:59) asked:

    “Why doesn’t the navy publish their thickness records if they have them – I have not
    seen recent results?”

    In broad strokes, we discourage the military from serving any civilian need. It’s inappropriate. Even when military resources are the only way to rescue someone, we insert them only with much careful bowing & explaining. Even though it can seem superficially ‘obvious’ for the military to contribute what they can, it is in fact fraught with grave social dangers, and we don’t generally do it.

    More specifically, the US is in competition with the Russian Navy … who are particularly sensitive to activities in the Arctic Ocean. It is unprofessional to reveal the activity or capability of our Navy, to them. (The Royal British Navy like to play, too, but they don’t have nearly as many boats.)

    But also bear in mind, we can measure ice thickness and its salt content (revealing age) from airplanes, using radar. Have, for many decades:

    ==========
    United States Patent: 3665466 [filed 1970]

    “Determination of Ice Thickness”

    Abstract

    “The thickness of sea ice is measured using a radar technique with radio frequency energy having frequency in the range between a frequency below 2000 MHZ and a frequency above 4000 MHZ. The penetration of radio frequency energy transmitted from above the ice and reflected by the ice or the water below it depends on the frequency of the energy. The frequency may be swept over the above range and the travel time of reflected energy recorded to obtain a measure of the salt concentration in ice.”

    Background of the Invention

    “The determination of the thickness of ice has recently assumed considerable importance in view of the passage of commercial vessels into Arctic and Antarctic regions where the sea is covered with a layer of ice either permanently or for extended periods during the year. In the Northwest Passage between the Arctic islands of Canada for example, a ship may be able to break through the ice provided that it is not excessively thick and provided also that the ice, if thick, is “old ice”; i.e., ice that has progressively accumulated over a period of years. It has been found that “old ice” becomes relatively hard and brittle and is much easier to break than is ice of relatively recent origin. Also, the presence of ice ridges becomes important in planning the travel path of a vessel inasmuch as they can present special problems to the captain of a vessel intent upon breaking through the ridge. It is desirable therefore to be able to quickly and accurately measure the thickness of the ice over a body of water and also to determine whether the ice is of relatively recent formation or whether it is “old ice”.”
    ==========

    It is absurd to give credence to any claim or suggestion that we or anyone is engaged in critical efforts to learn the thickness of Arctic Ocean ice. We may as well earnestly discuss the feasibility of controlling underarm odor.

    Obviously, submarines can determine the thickness of ice over them (it is necessary to surface before firing missiles…), and they gather a great deal of other valuable information (at especially high resolution) while they are at it. But airplanes can also measure ice thickness, and ice salinity: they can do so very quickly, and repeatedly (tho perhaps with lower resolution, and fewer ancillary data).

    It is normal for all manner of large aircraft travelling to & from North America and Europe/Central-Western Asia, to fly a course across the north polar icecap. It is the conventional “great circle route”. With the aerial measurement of ice using radar being literally your Grandpa’s technology, and the military making very large numbers of flights over the pole, we have every opportunity to monitor ice conditions. Since there are many US Patents on this topic, other than the one I cite, there is no reason that the civilian sector could not also do this – it’s fully public, not secret/classified technology.

    It really seems like simple buffoonery, a Three Stooges vaudeville act, to accede to the assumption that we (and all important global players) do not already know the Arctic ice thickness in detail (from both above & below), and update its status every few days.

    (The Army Arctic Ice-Buoy system, discussed here on WUWT several times, is most likely not installed primarily to track ice thickness, but to monitor icepack movement(s), over both short & extended time periods.)

  87. Phil. (07:10:18) :

    Yes these teams are experiencing similar problems to the Catlin group.
    But they are pushing on, they are attempting to dry out their sleeping bags, not flying in new ones along with bacon sandwiches.

    The point was that “thinning ice” will be the excuse for the Catlin trio not getting to the North Pole. The media will go to town on this “Global Warming stops Polar Explorers reaching North Pole.” The media will ram home, over and over again, that Global Warming stopped the Catlin three. Totally ignoring the fact that other teams succeeded or more correctly will succeed.

    Please check out
    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/routemap

    “The Ice Team members have all reached the North Pole before, so this project is not about getting to the Pole”

    Pen and Co are no longer going to the Pole, as they have all been there before.
    I thought that they knew that before they started out.

    Yet there are others where the conditions are allowing them to ski.

    http://www.forwardexpeditions.com/213-day-37-a-skiers-thoughts-4-7.html

    “Well today we made a new distance record for ten hours of travel, 11.2 nautical miles. John and I are very pleased. What do we think about while we’re skiing?”

    “The follower has a little bit less to think about and can get caught up more in: How’s the snow? This is great skiing. ”

    Apart from thin ice, I was also interested to read that John Huston and Tyler Fish had:

    “We boosted from 6700 calories to 7500 calories per person per day. And that is in the form of an extra truffle for lunch, more cheese and milk powder at dinnertime and a little other additives.”

    Compare that to Catlin:
    “Arctic Kitchen Posted by Ann Daniels

    Saturday, 11 Apr 2009 12:24
    As well as being the expedition’s navigator, Ann Daniels is the Team Cook. The calorie intake of the three explorers is crucial to maintain their energy levels – and they’re each taking on board around 5,500 calories per day.

    It’s very important for the team to adopt the healthiest diet possible to support optimum health and fitness throughout the journey”, says CAS Nutritional Adviser Rebecca Amey. “Providing the best balance of nutrients to maintain energy and peak body condition is essential. If just one nutrient is lacking or insufficient then normal bodily functions may begin to breakdown making the expedition more hazardous to health”.

    The healthiest diet possible that must be the nuts, dried fruit and chicken dumplings.

    One group need 7500 calories and the other need 5500 healthy calories.

  88. Ann reached her lowest point of the expedition so far, when after tending the boiling pans of water for several hours, she realised she had pre-heated the wrong battery and had accidently picked up the dead battery from the previous day. It was a painful and frustrating realisation at the end of a cold morning.

    Although this on the face of it seems a trivial mistake, it is getting obvious that Ann is getting to the end of her tether. They have done the right thing by giving her a job that may give some relief from the pitiless cold.

    On the plus side, at the end of the day, Ann felt warm enough to take off her sledging jacket when getting into her sleeping bag for the night. This is the first time in the 41 days of the expedition so far that she has felt warm enough for this luxury

    I’m concerned Hadow feels so enthusiastic about her well being. She might be looking for any thing other than the relentless pain she has been suffering.

    It is MHO that they must have an active monitored temperature gauge of her body heat while she sleeps. If this is a publicity stunt, then it is in poor taste.

  89. DaveCF (09:43:15) :

    Somewhat OT – back in 1969 I sat in the crew -room and watched the “small step for a man and a giant leap for mankind” on TV and then picked up my gear and walked out to a waiting Pratt & Whitney-powered DC-3, a design dating from 1935. Talk about a generation gap!

    Freaky! Let’s see, 1935 -> 1969 is 34 years. Apollo 17 was the last and was in 1972. 1972 + 34 -> 2006, so we’ve had a longer period of not being able to put a person on the moon than aviation progressed between 1935 and 1969!

    Bummer.

    I had a weird climatological experience like that – I finally made the effort to find a granite monument to the year without a summer (1816) and found it on May 17th. The next day while I was cooking breakfast I watched rain change to accumulating snow. That was in 2002. Snow in May is rare, especially by the 17th. It was very hard to shake the feeling that 1816 wasn’t about to replay itself or that I was in the screenplay of a Twilight Zone episode. http://wermenh.com/1816.html

  90. By the way, they are not called bacon sandwiches, they are bacon buttis, pronounced “butt ease”.

  91. Chris D. (09:21:33) :

    Has anyone addressed the issue of how the expedition is selecting their sites for drilling and gathering their data?

    Hadn’t seen anything, but I did note on a previous post on the Catlin adventure that they made a great to do about taking a hundred or more measurements when their progress was stopped by an expanse of open water. It just seemed rather like data would be skewed by selecting a site near open water where the ice might be thin. But that’s just my skeptic’s alarm sounding.

    Getting back to their progress — it seems they’ve been busy getting rested and reorganized since their latest resupply. They’ve actually drifted backwards a couple km since yesterday.

    Now I wonder why it is that I’ve got this image in my head of the AGW belief system inspired by the silent film era — Keystone Cops.

  92. “Why doesn’t the navy publish their thickness records if they have them – I have not seen recent results?
    Bill”

    Quite simple. If the Navy collects data on goose farts, that data will be classified.

    JimB

  93. “As you say, it can’t be difficult – it’s a simple navigation exercise for a couple of hunter-killers, perhaps with a specialist sonar device mounted on the conning tower.”

    As I said in a the previous post…you can bet your a$$ that the British Navy, the U.S. Navy, the Chinese Navy, and the Russian Navy know a whole lot more about ice thickness/movement than any of the researchers who have been “on the ice”.
    It would be considered by any government to be of strategic value, and would be considered classified, likely above the SECRET level.

    File it under “Never let your enemey know what you know, or how you know it.”

    JimB

  94. enduser (08:31:05) :

    “I am a graduate student and my Professor is a vehement AGW proponent (and very sharp) and I do not want to get my keister shot off in front of my peers.”

    Be careful on the fragmented/solid ice. The arctic at any time of year is moving. Strong currents and winds break off sections them ram them back together, hence the ridges and rubble. You could easily get into a minefield on this.

    Stick to the facts would be my advice. There are plenty to back up your story. If he isn’t aware that Antarctic sea ice has grown 3 million km2 over the past 6 weeks, then he’s in the wrong field.

    Antarctic sea ice growing fast and above it’s 1979-2000 mean:

    Global sea ice above the 1979-2000 mean:

    Arctic ice slow to start it’s melt and approaching it’s 1979-2000 mean:

    To really brush up your background this is an excellent summary:
    http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm

    From NSIDC, a good graphic to show how currents and winds are ejecting huge amounts of polar ice into the North Atlantic:

    Good luck and be prepared.

  95. Actually I doubt that the Catlin team gave a lot of thought to the proper way to pick good places to drill for data. I would guess that you just try to find a fairly level place so that you are on a sheet.

    The drill was never intended to be a method of gathering meaningful data, it was brought along for calibrating the radar equipment. The radar equipment would gather data continously. Drilling a few hundred holes in a moving ice sheet over a 500 km track, doesn’t really provide any better resolution than what is already available.

  96. As we approach the half way point of the expedition,…They are only a little more than 1/4th of the way to the North Pole.

    The most logical explanation is they are using the GISS algorithm and GCM models to extrapolate lots and lots of future progress based on very little current progress.

  97. Is everyone watching the sea ice extent graph? Ooh, we’re close to highest EVER at this time of year. The BBC say “ever” so I’m going to too!

  98. Arn Riewe (13:43:00) :

    “Be careful on the fragmented/solid ice. The arctic at any time of year is moving. Strong currents and winds break off sections them ram them back together, hence the ridges and rubble. You could easily get into a minefield on this.”

    Thank you sir, you are very kind.

  99. The Aqua MODIS satellite pic from a few hours ago shows there is a great deal of ice drift and large ice cracks in their way.

    This pic is sideways – blue dot is the north pole – click on 250m resolution

  100. You may enjoy these also. (I cannot search for the files and link to them as half the interweb thingy seems to be down!)
    AMSR-E Sea Ice June 2002-October 2003 89.0GHz Vertical Polarization.
    AMSR-E Sea Ice June 2002-October 2003 89.0GHz Polarization Ratio.
    These are AVI files created by Alvaro Ivanoff
    The HDTV files are large but worth looking at – You can see cracks propagate across half the ice in a matter of days.

  101. Sorry for this but this is also a pretty good avi:
    (same problem about providing a link as above)
    download the HDTV version of:
    Antarctic AMSR Sea Ice
    Dr Donald Cavaliere Ocean & Ice Branch NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Visualization Alvaro Ivanoff

    Just watch those icebergs dance in the right hand pane!

  102. bill,
    That animation is very impressive… not so much ice melt as it is the perfect storm…

  103. Anthony, someone here has a video of the entire earth showing the wind for a year or more.. It seems like it was Steve Keohane or Bill Illis… I wonder if it possibly has 2007-2008 in it…
    Mike

  104. bill (17:02:45) :
    The hi res image worth a look
    http://www.homerdixon.com/download/arctic_flushing.html

    REPLY: yes it is, and I plan to make a new post about it, thanks, Anthony

    I was impressed with that when I first saw it some time ago, the wholesale breakup of the multiyear ice in the Beaufort sea was very dramatic. If you look at current Quickscat images you can see some of the remnants strewn across north of Alaska, which will doubtless disappear this summer.

  105. Will the 2009 ASMR-E Sea Ice Extent fall, or will it cross over 2008 and 2003 by the end of April?
    Mike

  106. If we want to save polar bears then we need build a dam across the Bering Straits to block the warm Pacific water from entering.

    Just kidding Anthony, but this might be cheaper then CO2 taxes.

  107. If they need several hours of boiling water in the morning to heat their batteries and several hours of cooking in the evening for their evening meal, how much time each day are they walking? Have they mentioned how long they spend preparing breakfast?

  108. Has anyone else noticed the lack of Pro AGW comment on the Catlin Threads?

    They seem to be avoiding the topic like the plague.

  109. George Gillan (18:41:06) :
    “However, from satellite pictures we receive in the Ops Room, we can see that once the team cross the 85th degree of latitude, the condition of the ice deteriorates rapidly. Large fissures of open water running east to west for several hundred miles currently scar the ice imagery.”

    Is this true?

    Check out this, particularly at 500m scale, top left.

  110. Phil. (17:31:16) :

    George Gillan (18:41:06) :
    “However, from satellite pictures we receive in the Ops Room, we can see that once the team cross the 85th degree of latitude, the condition of the ice deteriorates rapidly. Large fissures of open water running east to west for several hundred miles currently scar the ice imagery.”

    Is this true?

    Check out this, particularly at 500m scale, top left.

    I think you are in the wrong place. Overlay the red grid box on the globe with
    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/route_globe.aspx

    Looks to me like Catlin would be somewhere to the right and down from the top left. With all the clouds it’s hard to tell if these fractures are open water or mostly ice filled, but open water without cloud cover would show up as black. There doesn’t appear to be any remarkable increase in fractures in the area for this time of year, though.

    The bottom middle of this map looks like the area where they started from

  111. Large fissures of open water

    How does that happen at -35deg, or is it simply the movement of the ice temporarily exposing water that will shortly freeze?

  112. I enjoy this web site for the alternative view it brings to the debate (which is not over). However, I hope you will forgive me for mentioning that your attention upon the fate of Catlin Arctic Survey Team seems “off mission.” It may be getting a little bit macabre.

  113. Wayne Conrad (09:32:17),

    Is attending to the Catlin Survey “off mission”?

    Those who would engage in any significant struggle meaningfully & successfully, will fight the fight that is in front of them … as opposed to some other fight that they might prefer to fight, i.e., one that is more seemly, dignified, or worthy (by some preconceived but irrelevant and ulitmately diverting sensibility).

    If it’s ranked Red Coats with muskets, then that’s what it is (regardless how quaint it sounds today). If it’s terrorists merged invisibly with passerby on the sidewalk – deal with it (not something else). If it’s the Soviets, it’s the Soviets; if it’s Hugo Chavev and Pakistan, there ya go.

    The Catlin Survey is a Public Relations maneuver, with overtones of a Trojan Horse. This isn’t a group of 3 testing themselves against Nature. It’s a Hollywood movie set, recording footage for a narrative aiming to win friends & influence enemies by the 10s of millions. With a message that many here oppose categorically.

    Their message is that industrial civilization should be dismantled, here & now, that capitalism should be ham-strung and left to founder in the ditch. Those (nearly all the citizenry) who happen to depend on these system – through no ‘fault’ of their own … well, ain’t that just too bad.

    All the members of the Catlin Survey donned their armor and hoisted their weapons, marched out onto their ersatz movie set with full deliberation and aforethought. If the action gets a little rough … I would not be the slightest bit surprised.

    The Catlin Survey should continue to receive critical scrutiny.

  114. They need to stop. If this were my expedition, we would give up. There comes a point where a good expedition leader decides that throwing away lives needlessly is immoral.

  115. James P (09:05:30) :
    Large fissures of open water

    How does that happen at -35deg, or is it simply the movement of the ice temporarily exposing water that will shortly freeze?

    Yes the ice opens up forming leads which at this time of year freeze over. However that ice is inches thick rather than feet thick so it might as well be open water if you’re trying to cross it.

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